Here are some simple pattern activities that are perfect for 4-6 year old’s.
With each of these activities, I challenged Owen (age 5) to try more difficult patterns by creating one for him and then having him add on to it. We would check the patterns by saying them out loud (red, blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow, red, blue, red…) and he would easily catch the mistake that way. Patterns are so great for building mathematical thinking!
Make pattern snakes with beads and pipe cleaners. We used hot glue to attach googly eyes and to hold the last bead on. So fun, and the boys like playing with them as well as building them! Jonathan (age 2 years, 9 months) just wanted to take his apart again after building and then build it again, which is pretty normal for that age. As long as your kids won’t put the beads in their mouths, it’s great fine motor practice!
Build some patterns with Lego bricks – this activity was a favorite.
Make patterns with Cheerios, raisins, goldfish, M&M’s, apple wedges – whatever you have on hand!
Use a ruler to make a row of dots equal distances apart on a piece of paper. I made a template and then photocopied it several times. Use the rows of dots to create patterns. Owen hasn’t quite gotten the hang of this yet, but it’s great practice! My dot patterns are below.
I didn’t get a photo for this one. Sit on the floor and create patterns with sounds that you can make using your body. Clap, pat on your legs, snap your fingers, click your tongue, etc. Clap, snap, pat, clap, snap, pat…
I labeled each of the keys on our xylophone with colored construction paper, and Owen and I wrote patterns to play by drawing music notes with colored pencils. The great part about this activity is that it’s easy to hear if there is a mistake in the pattern.